The "bracket" thread is still off track, so Iím taking this post from there and answering in hereÖ
Originally Posted by jack splash
If the plight of enduro timekeeping tells us anything, it won't be long before the old school roadbook goes the way of the wrist watch and route sheet. I can hear it now, the official reason will be something like, "in order to get more and younger riders, the Rally committe has decided that any smart phone will be accepted as a navigation device"
Thatís sort of the argument that was used in the revival of the Mexican 1000 Rally, where you can use GPS tracks or paper roadbook (or both). Fortunately, in that race things are moving in the opposite direction to what you describe. It looks like next year roadbook navigation will become more important than ever.
In an event like Dakar, navigation is a MAJOR factor. It's a completely different race than something like the Baja 1000, or the past 3 Mexican 1000 races where the course is known ahead of time. A GPS is used in Dakar, but it doesn't show a track or route or any kind of map. It's mostly for providing your current heading, a few special waypoints (once you're very close to them), and a few other things. In the 2005 Dakar they changed the way the GPS worked. It showed a "corridor" defining the race course. That made it way too easy to navigate. Everyone complained about it, so they took that function away the next year. If you look at most of the other cross-country rallies (we don't have any in the USA), they also rely on paper roadbooks, with challenging navigation being a key component. If anything, I think the sport is growing, in part because that mental challenge of navigation is missing from other types of racing.
Lifted from one of my posts in another thread...
When you use GPS, you always know where youíre going. When you always know where youíre going, you never get lost. When you never get lost, you miss out on big adventures. When you miss out on big adventures, your life becomes a bore. When your life becomes a bore, you sit at home and watch DirecTV all day. Donít sit at home watching DirecTV all day, race with a roadbook!